Article written by guest writer Kecia Lynn
What's the Latest Development?
On Monday, three teams of Google engineers entered the Grand Canyon wearing a 40-pound device, the Trekker, that allowed them to collect 360 degrees' worth of images to include in Google Maps' Street View feature. The Trekker's 15 camera lenses take a photo every 2.5 seconds and download them to an attached smartphone, where an app displays them fairly quickly. The many images collected by the teams will be evaluated and the best ones will be included in Street View.
What's the Big Idea?
Simply put, the Trekker "allow[s] the team to go where no Googler has gone before." Street View uses a variety of vehicles to capture the majority of its images; now it can take shots of those places that are only reachable by foot. The device was purposely designed to handle extreme weather and other challenges. However, it still requires human transportation, and one of the three teams had to turn back early due to exhaustion. Intrepid volunteer hikers are in for a bit of a wait: According to product manager Ryan Falor, "[I]t'll likely be months before Google is ready to push the hike the public."
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